* Morgenster Extra Virgin Olive Oil achieved a score of 98 out of 100 at the international Flos Olei 2014 competition, one of only eleven in the world and the only South African brand, and was named one of 20 ‘Made with Love‘ best olive farms in the world. Morgenster owner Giulio Bertrand says that his Italian olive trees and expertise, the exceptional South African terroir, and a focus on quality throughout the production process has led to their success. Flos Olei’s described the Morgenster olive oil as follows: ‘We recommend the Extra Virgin Morgenster, which is an intense limpid golden yellow colour with slight green hues. Its aroma is definite and elegant, rich in vegetal hints of freshly mown grass, artichoke and chicory, together with distinct notes of mint and rosemary. Its taste is full and strong, with a flavour of thistle, lettuce and black pepper. Bitterness and pungency are distinct and balanced, with a sweet almond finish’. (received via media release from North & South PR)
* The central information centre for Cape Town’s reign as World Design Capital 2014 will open its doors this week at The Clocktower in the V&A Waterfront. (received via newsletter from Cape Town Design NPC)
* The Queen Mary will be docking in Cape Town next year, on its 10th anniversary world cruise.
* British Airways is increasing the number of its flights to Cape Town during our winter compared to previous years, it announced in Cape Town yesterday. The airline will increase its services from London to Cape Town by three flights a week from May, adding 657 seats a week, with a total capacity of over 12 000 seats next winter. Currently BA operates 2 flights per day to Cape Town between October and March, and a daily service during winter. It will add 3 Boeing 777-200ERs a week in winter, each accommodating 219 customers in four cabins. BA said it recognised that an all-year service needed to be offered between London and Cape Town, ‘Operating year-round builds confidence in the route, not only amongst inbound tourists and business travellers, but also local customers wanting to visit London or travel onwards to the rest of our network’. The airline has pledged to market the route, to attract tourists to Cape Town, but also wants to attract locals to visit the United Kingdom. BA also announced that it will build a new lounge at Cape Town International, similar to its Galleries lounge in Terminal 5 at Heathrow. (received via media release prepared by Meropa, via Wesgro)
* Destinations that are bubbling under in having the fastest growth in traveller feedback and interest are the following: Havana in Cuba, La Fortuna de San Carlos in Costa Rica, Kathmandu in Nepal, Jerusalem in Israel, Cusco in Peru, Ambergris Caye in Belize, Sapporo in Japan, Hanoi in Vietnam, Corralejo in Spain, and Fortaleza in Brazil.
* Africa needs to move beyond packaging itself as a ‘bucket list’ destination. Rather it needs to attract repeat visitors, said Joss Kent of &Beyond at the ILTM (International Luxury Travel Market) in Cannes.
* Low cost airline FlySafair has been granted permission to operate a domestic service, now meeting the 75% SA resident ownership requirement. It will offer lower rates than other competitors. It is still awaiting its operating licence.
* The annual Start of Harvest Festival at Delheim will take place on 25 and 26 January, allowing wine lovers to experience a ‘Day in the life of Delheim’. Fun activities, wine tasting, and a buffet lunch cost R220 per person. (received via media release from Random Hat Communications)
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage